The Hall Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Hall Primary School's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Hall Primary School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Present and past head teachers
at The Hall Primary School
The Golden Jubilee launch
September 2017
This academic year, The Hall is celebrating 50 years of
teaching and learning. Over the years, The Hall has striven
for continuous improvement, and thus gained a strong
reputation in the community, being over-subscribed and highly
regarded. Since Ofsted was formed in 1992, it has maintained
a “good” or higher rating. This anniversary has caused the
leadership team to consider the reason for the continued
success and to reflect on the lessons everyone can learn to the
benefit of every pupil.
There have been many educational changes and challenges facing schools over the
past 50 years. At The Hall, however, the focus of each head teacher and governing
body has been to place the best interests of children at the heart of every decision
made. We have looked at every initiative that has come along and evaluated how
it could work for the benefit of our pupils. The first historical report for parents at
TheHall stated:
“The purpose of primary education is:
» The development of potential and a sense of personal worth of each child
» The adjustment of the individual child to a social world
» The way that each child is going to gain knowledge, skills, concepts and
It is our hope that each pupil will develop as responsible, caring human
beings, able to impart purpose and direction to their lives in the midst of
uncertainty and rapid change.”
»Head teacher: Ms. Sally Hayden
»Founded in 1967
»Based in Glenfield,
»Type of school: Local authority
maintained school
»No. of pupils: 483
»Ofsted rating: “Good”
»Purpose-built 60-place
pre-school opened in 2013
The Hall Primary School
Highlighting best practice
The current prospectus mirrors the
same sentiments. We continue to
give every pupil the opportunity of
realising their full potential through
high quality teaching and learning. Our
mission statement, “together we can
make a difference”, is at the heart of
our ethos. At The Hall, we continue
to develop and “tweak to transform”
with these basic values at heart.
Our curriculum
The development of our curriculum
in a changing world has been at the
centre of our thinking. Yes, we focus
on standards, but we equally need to
make learning fun, challenging and
motivating. As each version of the
national curriculum has emerged, we
have spent valuable staff meeting time
reflecting on how we can implement
it. It is essential that children want to
learn, that parents understand what
we are teaching and why and that
teachers and support staff understand
how they can make learning active,
creative and innovative.
Subject leadership continues to be
a strength of the school, with every
subject being tracked. Emphasis is
put on basic literacy and numeracy
skills, but through cross curricular
links learning is made creative and
exciting. Every effort is made to ensure
the curriculum is broad and balanced,
with opportunities for greater depth
learning. It is imperative that we
reflect on our curriculum, year on year,
developing learning that benefits and
motivates children. We want to provide
memorable and valuable learning
experiences for our pupils.
This year, we have focused on learning
attitudes by adopting “growth
mindset” principles. We encourage
the children to persevere, embrace
challenge and remain open to
feedback and learn from others. We
teach that individual effort will make
a difference. Parent workshops have
encouraged the whole community to
become involved and work with us to
provide a consistent approach.
We want the children to be responsible
learners. It is vital that they understand
what success looks like, have high
quality feedback and have a valuable
learning dialogue with their teachers.
We want them all to develop their own
pathway to learning, including those
with additional needs and those who
require more chances to progress.
We have long believed at The Hall that
“pupil voice” is essential and we must
have an active school council. They
influence decisions and are a tangible
part of curriculum development. When
the government stated that schools
should deliver “30 minutes of vigorous
activities for pupils every day”, the
discussions as to how we could deliver
this took place at school council level.
Through the children’s ideas, we now
have a perimeter pathway around
our school grounds and every day,
the whole school, staff and children,
exercise together. This is just one
example of children and staff listening
and valuing each other to enhance the
learning experience.
Foundation children
using ICT to enhance
We continue
to give every
pupil the
opportunity of
realising their
full potential
through high
teaching and
Children need to enjoy school and
learning and know they are valued.
When children feel good about
themselves and are happy in the
school environment, they will be
better learners. The Hall has been
awarded accreditation for being an
“R time” school. This programme
promotes courtesy, good manners,
turn taking, fairness and co-operation.
Through the development of good
relationships, we raise self-esteem,
improve the emotional wellbeing of
our children and, in turn, enhance
Building the right team
The leaders at The Hall have always
understood that it is essential to
develop staff teams that work
collaboratively and are generous and
open with each other, fostering a
climate of positivity and productivity.
Staff recruitment and retention
continues to be a high priority. During
times of staff shortages, it has been
The Hall’s policy to only appoint
if we are sure. This is sometimes
hard to implement, but the benefits
are long term. We ensure that the
principles we as a staff adhere to
»We put children’s needs first
»We are professional
»We work as one team
»We respect each other
»We work for continuous
We see effective continuing
professional development as essential
for all staff understanding the impact
it will have on children’s standards.
Staff take responsibility for their own
professional development based on
self-evaluation and reflection.
We regard everyone as having their
part to play in the “big picture”. We
believe that everyone contributes to
the development of The Hall and has
an essential contribution to make.
As we look to the future, we have our
specific challenges. Like most schools,
we want to work with those families
hardest to reach. We want to continue
to look outwards and develop new
partnerships; we want to stretch and
challenge our pupils. The learning
journey continues.
Our Golden Jubilee is a time to
celebrate the child-centred values
of The Hall. The Plowden Report,
published the same year as The Hall
opened, stated, “At the heart of the
educational process lies the child.”
We want to
continue to
look outwards
and develop
Exercising around the
perimeter pathway

This article was sponsored by The Hall Primary School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister